Spotify, the joyous music app, has launched an updated download service, seemingly in a bid to generate additional revenue.

The move comes a month or so after Spotify enabled offline access for both the deskptop and iPhone app. It makes it much easier to purchase songs, by promoting the download service via highly visible icons. Previously you had to jump through hoops if you wanted to buy music via Spotify.

Songs cost 79p and full albums are available for £7.99, though not every song or album can currently be purchased. Downloads can be added to Spotify playlists in the usual way.

So how does it work? A new ‘Buy’ icon is displayed alongside tracks that are available for download. Click the icon and a pop-up appears, with some terms and conditions to agree to. 

After that, you’re invited to pay for the tune by entering your card details, rather than agreeing to use the existing card details held by Spotify to process subscription payments. The download service is powered by 7digital, which explains the new terms and conditions and distinct payment mechanics.

Spotify says:

“You can purchase individual tracks and albums and keep them as MP3s. This comes in handy if you use an older iPod or MP3 player and want music on the go. If you like to ‘try before you buy’ you can do it all with Spotify.”

There’s a walkthrough in this video:

Is this a signal that Spotify Pro is not generating enough revenue for the company? It seems that way. Daniel Ek’s recent letter to the music industry suggests that the firm needs more time, but remains bullish about prospects to ‘save’ the music industry.

I’m sure the firm will make some money from this, as some people still like to claim ownership over digital assets. For me, access beats ownership, and I for one will continue to pay the £10 a month it costs for full, unadulterated access to a fantastic music service, with 3,000+ songs available for offline storage. Nonetheless, it’s a smart move to offer non-paying users the ability to buy tunes on impulse, to generating additional revenue.